Dispatch from Crame No. 490: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on Misuari’s threat to go to war over federalism


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The worst thing a free government can do is to give terrorists a platform. This is what Duterte is doing now to Nur Misuari. Misuari is nothing more than a criminal under the protection and patronage of Duterte.

Have we forgotten how Misuari ordered the hostile takeover of Zamboanga City which claimed the lives of many Filipinos? Do they not deserve justice for the atrocities Misuari and his men committed?

Misuari now roams around, scot-free, without even a hint of remorse or regret for the lives they destroyed in their failed attempt at rebellion. All because Duterte refuses to serve the arrest warrants that would force him to face the charges against him.

It appears that the zeal of law enforcement only applies against Duterte’s critics where the police and, in some cases, Robin Padilla cannot wait another minute to serve the warrant. The authorities could not wait even a day to serve warrants for petty libel cases against Sen. Trillanes and Maria Ressa while they wait on Misuari, who committed heinous crimes in open rebellion, indefinitely.

It is because of Duterte’s protection that Misuari has the gall to ignore and disrespect the Sandiganbayan by not showing up for his arraignment for graft and malversation of over ₱115 million worth of educational materials supposedly purchased, which turned out to be non-existent.

Now he has the audacity to walk to the Office of the President and threaten war if we refuse to revise our Constitution in accordance to his will. In a very revealing moment, Duterte allowed his Office to be disrespected by this criminal. Even worse, Duterte acted as Misuari’s spokesperson, delivering the latter’s threat against our Republic, under the seal of his Office and before the media, for all to hear.

A true President would have him arrested, there and then, for proposal to commit rebellion. But Duterte is not a true President, at least not in the honorable sense of the word. A true President would recognize that Misuari already had his chance to join the peace process and it is time for him to face his crimes.

Our Bangsamoro brethren are now trying to chart their path within our constitutional bounds after the successful ratification of the new law, the Bangsamoro Organic Law. Yet Misuari continues to refuse a lawful and peaceful life. Still he threatens our country. Still the President humors him.

Let me remind Duterte that he is not just president to Misuari. He is president to our Republic, and to our people, even to victims of Misuari’s crimes. ###

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